What to Expect

Anesthesia care – before your procedure

Before your surgery, a Henry Ford team member will contact you to ask questions regarding your medical and surgical history, medications, side effects or previous complications with anesthesia, and any other preoperative questions. We may schedule an appointment with you to be seen in our Surgical Optimization Clinic. The day before your surgery, we will confirm the time you should arrive to the facility.

Anesthesia care – day of procedure

The day of your surgery you will meet with the anesthesiologist and other members of the team to again discuss your medical history, medication use, and any recent changes to your health. The anesthesiologist will also explain the plan for delivering anesthesia and what to expect. During surgery, the anesthesiology care team will monitor you continuously including oxygen levels, blood pressure, heart function, and other important vital signs.

  • You may receive antibiotics, pain medications, and/or anti-anxiety medications in preparation for surgery.
  • Don’t be alarmed if we ask you many of the same questions more than once. This repetitive process is done to ensure quality and safety.

Anesthesia care – after your procedure

After your surgery is complete, you will be taken to the post-anesthesia care unit (recovery room) where the anesthesiology team will continue to care for you and manage any pain and discomfort once you wake from surgery. The anesthesiology team will maintain your comfort until you are ready to be discharged home.

Types of anesthesia

Anesthesia medications differ from patient to patient. The type of anesthesia determined for each patient is based on many factors, including:

  • Patient’s condition
  • Current health state and anesthesia requirements
  • Complexity of the procedure
  • Length of the procedure

Types include:

Local Anesthesia

This type of anesthesia involves injection of an anesthetic medication to numb the location of the body site requiring minor surgery. Example: A specific area of the foot.

Regional Anesthesia

Regional anesthesia involves injection of an anesthetic medication near the nerves of the body area for surgery and works to numb an entire area of the body. You may be given a sedative before or may choose to stay awake for the surgery. Example: Epidural anesthesia, which is often used for women in labor.

General Anesthesia

Patients undergoing general anesthesia receive the anesthetic medication through a vein and/or in the form of inhaled gases. Once the patient is unconscious, a breathing tube is inserted. During the surgical procedure, the anesthesiologist closely monitors all brain and body functions and maintains proper levels of anesthesia. Example: Any major surgical procedure.

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